Is Tuna Fish Good for Diabetes? A Nutritionist’s Take

Tuna is a popular fatty fish consumed around the world. It is known for its omega-3 fatty acids and is regularly consumed as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Tuna comes in many forms, including canned tuna, tuna salad, and tuna mayonnaise.

It has many health benefits, but is it good for managing diabetes?

In this article, we’re going to take a look at this fatty fish and find out whether it can help with blood sugar control, its nutritional value, and the health benefits of consuming it. Take a look now to learn more.

How tuna benefits diabetes

There are a few ways eating tuna can benefit diabetes. It is thought that high vitamin D levels may help boost glucose metabolism and increase insulin sensitivity. Tuna also has no carb content, meaning it will not raise blood sugar levels.

Eating fish is part of a healthy diet and a staple of the Mediterranean diet, which is a healthy choice regarding dieting methods. Marine fish varieties tend to have lots of protein, which can help boost weight loss.

Losing weight is usually recommended for diabetes management, so eating fish, like tuna, could help you reduce body weight. Fatty fish is a great food on the keto diet, which is thought to be a diabetes-friendly method of losing weight.

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Finally, tuna has lots of omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3 fatty acids have a ton of protective benefits for the heart. Those with diabetes are at higher risk of heart conditions, like heart attack and stroke, and so eating more tuna could help lower the risk of these conditions.

Tuna Nutritional Value

The nutritional value of tuna per 100g is as follows:


Tuna also contains vitamins A, D, and E, as well as some B vitamins. Mineral content includes calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

The nutritional value of tuna may alter depending on how it is cooked. Fried fish, for example, will likely have more fat than broiled tuna.

Glycemic Index of Tuna

Tuna has a glycemic index of 0. This is because it does not contain any carbohydrates. Glycemic index or glycemic load refers to the rate at which carb-containing food is broken down, turned into glucose, and absorbed into the bloodstream. Tuna doesn’t contain any simple sugars, so an increase in blood sugar level will not occur when consumed.

Those with diabetes are often told to consume more low glycemic index foods, which usually results in following a low-carb diet. This is to help keep blood glucose levels within the target range and avoid spikes in blood sugar.

Can People With Diabetes Eat Canned Tuna?

Canned tuna is a great option for those with diabetes. It is low in saturated fat, high in healthy, unsaturated fats, and high in protein. With no glycemic index, it will not cause a blood sugar spike and may offer other benefits for those with diabetes.

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Canned tuna is a processed food people with diabetes may consume safely. This saltwater fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can boost cardiovascular health, and has a high vitamin D content, which may boost insulin sensitivity.

Additionally, canned tuna contains many antioxidant compounds, including selenium, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation has been linked to complications in those with diabetes.

5 Health Benefits of Tuna Fish for Diabetes

Tuna has many health benefits and can be consumed safely as part of a healthy diet. We’ve summarized some of the benefits below.

#1 Better blood circulation

Tuna contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower triglyceride levels in the bloodstream. High levels of triglycerides can read to plaque build-up, blocking blood flow. They also relax blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. Getting more omega-3 fatty acids may help improve circulation.

#2 Source of iron

Iron is an essential nutrient in the body. It plays a role in the movement of oxygen around the body, helping improve circulation and oxygenation of muscles. Tuna has about 1.02mg of iron per 100g. The recommended daily amount of iron differs depending on gender and is usually around 8mg for men and 18mg for women. Much more iron is needed for pregnant women.

If you do not get enough iron from food, you can add an iron supplement to your diet. Be aware that iron supplements come with some side effects.

#3 Good for your heart

Tuna is a healthy choice for your heart too. Not only does the healthy fat in tuna help boost heart health, but it is also low in saturated fat. This can help reduce triglycerides and lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.

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#4 Might help to reduce blood pressure

The healthy omega-3 fats found in tuna are thought to help lower blood pressure. High blood pressure levels are very common in those with diabetes and can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems. Consuming tuna may help lower blood pressure levels.

#5 Reduces inflammation

Tuna has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to several conditions, including diabetes. Eating anti-inflammatory foods like tuna could reduce your risk of developing these chronic diseases.



Tuna is a healthy fish to add to your diet. It has many benefits for those with diabetes and may be a good choice for diabetes management. Remember that while tuna is a diabetes-friendly food choice, you need to make other changes to your diet and activity level to manage your condition.


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About the Author: Tung Chi